Style: New England-style double IPA / ABV: 8.1 percent
You're on a torch-lit lanai holding a bulbous glass shaded by a tiny umbrella, grass skirts a-swirlin' in the distance, as the succulent, almost overpowering drink begins to etch memories in hidden places. This is Temporal Distortion.
The recipe for this double IPA is key to understanding its complexity. Whereas the majority of beers are made up of anywhere from 60 to 100 percent barley malt, depending on the style, Claim 52 head brewer Bryce Fisher used oats for 50 percent of his grain bill—an ungodly amount of the gummy adjunct—plus lactose, milk sugar that gives the liquid some body as well as a creamy sensation. All of that, plus a bag of New Zealand Wai-iti hops—peachy, succulent and flecked with lime zest—add up to a 21st century brewer's mad scientist project.
"The name refers to the bending of rules and perceptions about what a beer can or should be," says Fisher. "Can an IPA be 50 percent oats? Should an IPA contain lactose? We wouldn't know if we didn't experiment. And once we have the answer, our perceptions might be distorted."
Like a trapeze artist tumbling through the air, Temporal Distortion can be observed in a fleeting moment but will leave you wanting more, so take it in slowly. Let the IPA linger on the palate and surf through your synapses. Though not for all occasions—Temporal Distortion tends to be an attention hog—as a winter release, it's practically an advertisement for low fares to Hawaii. Drink it while dreaming of warmer temperatures.